The recently concluded Under-17 World Cup hosted by India has been a record breaker.
The tournament which was won by England, not only saw the highest number of spectator attendance in the tournament’s history (13,47,143), it also saw the highest number of goals scored per match (3.40) ever since the tournament format was changed in 2007 to increase it to a 24 team affair from the earlier 16.
Even before the tournament had even concluded, we had reported how India had received high praise from FIFA for successfully hosting the world cup.
As mentioned in the report, Jaime Yarza the FIFA Head of Competitions has stated that the infrastructure provided was world class and the teams were happy with the organisation. India was also praised by FIFA president Giani Infantino, who declared that “India is a football country now”.
Now the FIFA president has made another warm gesture by sending a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which contained his thoughts about the tournament. This letter was shared on Twitter by Sports Journalist Samrat Chakraborty:
In the letter, Infantino stated that the whole FIFA delegation during the course of the tournament had made some unforgettable memories and had also made various warm-hearted friends during their stay at Kolkata and during the FIFA’s council meeting.
The President then congratulated the Modi government, for its role in successfully hosting the World Cup. He also expressed gratitude towards the AIFF, local organising committee and everyone else for their contribution in this tournament which was held across 6 venues.
He also apologised for not being able to attend the opening ceremony and thereby being unable to meet PM Modi in person. He concluded the letter by assuring that FIFA and the international football community would provide any assistance towards developing football in the country.
Before its start, I had reported how this tournament was a golden chance for India to shine on the global level. Going by the warm praise by FIFA, it can be concluded with certainty that India has been successful in making its mark.